Just sent my monthly newsletter!

I just sent my monthly newsletter to folks on my email list.

Have you joined yet? Are you missing out on the fun? I use my list to send special updates, promotions, and stories about my writing journey.

Click here to join the list (I only write once per month - promise!) and to receive your FREE copy of Percy's Armageddon: Pick Your Plot Prequel as a welcome gift.

Have a great long weekend, everyone :)


IWSG - September 2015

Yesterday I watched Brene Brown's talk "Why Your Critics Aren't the Ones Who Count". The talk is directed at creative people and is a pep talk, of sorts. A timely pep talk for me.

After this month, I needed it. August was one of those months where I felt like nothing quite worked right. I didn't get as much writing done as I wanted to in July or August. My inner critic was LOUD about calling me a 'failed blogger' and 'insufficient writer' and telling me, 'you're so unskilled - how can you think that you are good enough to tackle these projects?' I had some health issues that made me just.. exhausted.

But I got some stuff done and actually if I concentrate on the good, August was a pretty great month. I accepted a new job at a company I will be proud to work for. They'll be paying me an appropriate wage for my work (no more being massively underpaid in education), and they won't expect me to work any over time (omg amazing). We went on an incredible, stunning five day backpacking trip. I started attending a writer's group of ladies that I adore.

And yet it's the bad that I think about. *shakes head* Those inner critics are beastly creatures.

This is a quote Brene shared in her talk. I've decided to take it to heart, and hope y'all will too.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly..." Theodore Roosevelt

And seriously - go watch the whole talk.

Insecure Writers Support Group is a monthly opportunity for writers to support one another, gripe, whine, cheer, and jeer about this crazy thing we do. It was created by Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month's super-fab co-hosts are: Heather M. Gardner, Christine Raines, Dolorah at Book Lover, Julie Flanders and Murees Dupe


I'm a total blogging slacker!

I've really been neglecting this place! Eek. I even missed IWSG last week because I just wasn't paying attention. Too much going on.

Last week I accepted a new full-time job. I have absolutely adored spending my summer writing, but the position offers me a chance to do work in another passion area and I couldn't pass it up. So! I am facing another life-reorganization. Thankfully this new job will not be nearly as time-intensive as the old one, so I will still have ample time to get my writing done. I might even be more organized about it! One can hope.

In other news, this fall I am one of the judges for the 2015 Bold New Worlds high school writing contest! It's a contest for high schoolers writing short stories in the speculative fiction genre. This year's theme is Creative Creatures and I can't wait to see what the students come up with! Contest prizes include cash for the top 3, critiques, and publication in an anthology. The prizes are funded by sales of last year's anthology. Submissions will be accepted through November 1, so please help us get the word out!


Just a quick update

I haven't been feeling super great the last couple days, so a quick update this week.

I'm participating in #CampNaNoWriMo this month, and so far it's going really well! I am having a ball with my project. I've been spending mornings writing and afternoons editing another project, so things are just humming along :)

Here's a pic I shared yesterday:

What are you working on this week?


It's kind-of a big deal

Happy to be done!
Happy Monday, all!
I hope my US friends had a great 4th of July. And did y'all see that Women's World Cup Final? Incredible!

I completed my first half-marathon on Saturday. Crazy, right? Yeah I think so too. It seemed like a good idea when I signed up, and then for a couple days before (and for the last 3 miles of the race hah) I was like, "why did I think this was a good idea??" And then I finished, and the excitement and runner's high said, "this is why this was a good idea."

I find that writing is similar. I often get to a point halfway through a project and think, "why am I doing this? Why did I think this idea was worth all this work?" but then when it's finished and I finally get to show it to other people I am reminded why I do this. I do it because it's hard. Because it allows me to connect with people I might not otherwise. Because being able to say "I published a book" or two, or three, is a BIG DEAL.

I ran a half marathon. I wasn't the fastest by any stretch, but I did it. I put in the work, the sweat, the blisters, and I did it. It's a BIG DEAL.

What are you working on right now that is a BIG DEAL in your life?

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July #IWSG - a revisit to my Challenge from last week

The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer's Support Group day. It's a day for lovely people to bop around and support one another through this crazy thing we call 'being writers'. If you consider yourself to be a writer I highly suggest joining :) 

I am a co-host this month, along with Charity, SA, Tamara, Allison, and Tanya. And of course, Alex! Check them all out!

In my other professional life we talk about growth through provision of both Challenge and Support, so today I'm offering my fellow writers a dose of both.

June was an emotional month for social justice and civil rights in the USA. In just two weeks we had the shooting at Emanuel AME Church, subsequent burnings of other black churches (7 as of this writing), and the SCOTUS's decisions to maintain Obamacare and legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states. Issues of freedom, justice and safety have been on everyone's minds. We have celebrated and mourned. On the 26th President Obama gave a celebratory speech in the morning, and sang an emotional (and ever so slightly off-key :) ) Amazing Grace in the afternoon. The US has come a long way toward equality, and we have so much further to go.

Last week I challenged my writing friends to write more diversity into our books, and today on IWSG day I want to re-issue that challenge. America reads. More and more we are seeing our books turned into movies and television shows. If we as writers commit to writing more diversity of all kinds into our literature, think of how many minds we can influence!

I challenge you all to commit to write: people of all races/ethnicities as main characters, as lovers, as friends; LGBT people as positive, functional, happy, normal people; and women as powerful agents of their own lives. If all of us writers (including us white writers.. *ahem*) look at our stories and are intentional about not only having white male protagonists, bad guys who are people of color, damsels in distress, we can show our readers what the world could look like. What the world should look like. What the world does look like.

Writers have always been subversive and political in our own ways. I'm challenging you all to join me in this particular subversion. Are you in? How can I support you?

Click here to read my original, more lengthy post about the AME shooting, which contains the initial challenge and more detailed reflection.